Texas Tech University

Mark Morton

Associate Professor of Double Bass

Email: mark.morton@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-4728

Office: School of Music, Room 216A

Mark Morton

Dr. Mark Morton is one of a very few bassists in the Unites States that can accurately claim equal measure of experience as:

  • a principal in a major symphony orchestra,
  • an internationally recognized double bass soloist,
  • a leading, innovative pedagogue.

Additionally, Dr. Morton plays and teaches both the French and German bows, and is an accomplished pianist – often accompanying his students in lessons and recital.

Dr. Morton has had a full 23-year long career in the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra, a full-time, 46-week season ICSOM orchestra – 14 years as Principal Bass and 9 years as Assistant Principal Bass. Morton has played under the direction of many conductors including Leonard Bernstein, Lorin Maazel, Alexander Schneider, Pinchas Zuckerman, Hans Graf, Gunther Herbig, Vladimir Spivakov, John Williams, Henry Mancini and Mitch Miller. Dr. Morton has twice served as the guest principal bass of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada, Pinchas Zuckerman, Music Director.

Originally from Houston, Dr. Morton was a four-year Texas All-Stater, second chair in the top All-State orchestra for two years, and first chair in the top orchestra for two years. Dr. Morton is the first-prize winner of the 1990 International Society of Bassists Solo Competition held in New York City. A busy recitalist and concerto performer, Morton has soloed in Europe, South America, Canada, and of course the United States, and has been a featured double bass soloist on radio broadcasts including NPR's "Performance Today," WGBH in Boston, and WQXR in New York. His critically acclaimed Thresholds and Russian Rendezvous CDs, are the first two of a projected series of CDs of standard double bass repertoire. He also shares a compact disc on Albany Records with world-renowned bassist Gary Karr of solo double bass music by Paul Ramsier. It was with that CD that Classical CD Reviews hailed him as “a most artistic representative of the new generation developed in the last half century.” In May, 2013, Albany Records released his 2-CD set Bottesini’s Greatest Hits, on which he is playing both the solo bass and piano accompaniments!

As a pianist, Mark Morton has appeared as piano concerto soloist with several orchestras, including the Houston Symphony Orchestra.

For thirteen years Morton was instructor of double bass at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, and also teaches during summers at the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy, Powell River, British Columbia. For many summers he was the principal bassists and teacher at Eastern Music Festival, Greensboro, NC. He has also taught at, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, and was the assistant double bass instructor for Gary Karr at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. He has given numerous masterclasses including at Yale, University of Iowa, and the Conservatoire National Superieure de Musique de Paris.

Mark Morton is the author of the popular “Dr. Morton” series of double bass technique books, published by Northeastern Music Co., and has numerous articles in all important trade periodicals.

Former students have achieved the following accomplishments:

  • 2 students were in the final trial period for principal bass of the Detroit Symphony
  • 1 student was in the final trial period for principal bass of the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa, Canada)
  • Professor of double bass at University of Iowa
  • Professor of double bass at Oklahoma University
  • 2 students have been first-prize winners of the ISB Solo Competition (professional division)
  • 3rd prize in the ISB Solo Competition (junior division)
  • Member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra
  • 2 students went on to graduate school at Indiana University
  • Attended Boston Conservatory
  • First-prize and second-prize winners of the Columbus Symphony Concerto competition

Dr. Morton earned the undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Juilliard School in New York, being the first bassist in history to earn the Artist Diploma, Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees all from Juilliard. His principal teachers include David Walter, Channing Robbins, Stuart Sankey, Eugene Levinson and Winston Budrow. Orchestrally, Morton performs on a very large double bass made Joseph & Antonio Gagliano in Naples, Italy in 1805. As a soloist, he plays a double bass made in the last quarter of the 18th century by Gennaro Vinaccia of Naples. Robertson’s and Sons have commissioned a series of double basses by Paul Hart modeled after Morton’s Vinaccia. Morton is a D’Addario Artist.